In sports, they say, everyone’s a winner — some just win better than others. We covered the proceedings of the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft on Sunday and figured out who won, and who didn’t.
Winner: Petron Blaze Boosters
Petron got a lot of solid talent in the draft, including a potential franchise center in June Mar Fajardo, a gamer in Alex Mallari, and even a potential 12th man in Mark Sarangay.
But there’s never been a question about the team’s talent, and it’s going to be up to the team’s brain trust, led by new coach Olsen Racela, to figure out a way to balance this lineup.
Losers: Undrafted players
The league had a mammoth draft class this year, with 58 entrants, but only 39 got drafted, leaving 19 other players’ hopes dashed. But they could turn things around by working hard, and continuing to pursue their PBA dreams.
Winner: Alaska Aces
Calvin Abueva may be the most talented player in the draft, and we’re really high on Raphy Reyes too; he might be the steal of the second round.
Winner: Alex Mallari
Mallari played his way up the draft charts in the days leading up to the big event, and his selection at the No. 3 spot may have been a surprise (except, of course, if you read InterAKTV’s mock drafts, where he was pegged correctly at that spot in the last two versions).
Of course, some would say that considering that he’s with the lovely Miakka Lim, he could have gone undrafted on Sunday and he would still have come home a winner.
Loser: Cliff Hodge
When he first joined the draft, Hodge was tabbed as a potential No. 1 overall pick. Then Petron won the lottery and Fajardo entered the fray, dropping him down to No. 2. Then Alaska decided to go with Abueva, and it looked like the No. 3 for Hodge. But then Petron went with Mallari, leaving Hodge all the way down at No. 4.
Winner: Meralco Bolts
Getting Hodge with the fourth pick is an absolute victory for the Bolts. Hodge could actually turn it into a win, because he’d have the opportunity to win a starting spot for Meralco, and if he does, he’d probably be the odds-on favorite to be Rookie of the Year.
Kelly Nabong, picked in the second round, and Janus Lozada, in the third, can turn out to be contributors too.
Losers: Ginebra fangirls
The funniest moment of the draft came during the announcement of the sixth pick, when Ginebra fans started shrieking at the Robinsons Midtown Mall when PBA commissior Chito Salud read out the team’s selection: “Ginebra selects Chris…”
The excitement turned into disappointment when they realized Ginebra was picking a different Chris altogether. Of course…
Winner: Chris Ellis
It took only a couple of minutes for Chris Ellis to turn from a disappointing pick — those fangirls wanted Ginebra to pick the heartthrob, dammit! — into a beacon of hope for the barangay. Ellis’ name was a worldwide trending topic on Twitter shortly after he was selected. Such is the power of the Ginebra faithful.
Winner: Rain or Shine’s Marketing Department
On the court, Chris Tiu can play both guard positions, has good size for the point guard spot, makes great decisions, shoots well, defends intelligently, and is a bona fide leader. That alone makes him a perfect fit for Rain or Shine, a team of gritty underdogs whose main man Paul Lee will be out until January.
Off the court, his presence is a winning lottery ticket for Rain or Shine’s marketing department, with his legions of fans. Even Rain or Shine co-owner Raymond Yu doesn’t mind having the team called by fans the ElasTiu Painters.
Loser: Chris Tiu’s stylist
“Oh. My. God. Where to start? First of all, can’t we find him a jacket that actually fits? Is that Beau Belga’s jacket? And that brush, I mean, is this a basketball team, or will they be flying to Hogwarts for a game of Quidditch after the draft? And if we’re going to have Chris go with the Harry Potter look, we could have at least outfitted him with some nice glasses. This might be the worst look for Chris since someone tricked him into posing as an angel in that magazine spread.”
Winner: Extra Rice Incorporated jokes
It’s perfect, just perfect, to have the team that has Beau Belga and JR Quinahan pick up Bacon in the draft. We’re hoping they could select Jamon next year.
Loser: Sean Anthony
Poor Sean got traded twice in a span of 15 minutes, first to B-MEG then finally to Barako Bull. It’s a good thing that he was a great sport about it:
Also thanks to
#bmegplanet for a warm welcome all 15 minutes I was with u lol.
— sean anthony (@SeanAnthony_10) August 19, 2012
He should fit in well at Barako Bull, where he’ll team up once more with fellow Tisoy Tiger Doug Kramer. So it’s not really that much of a loss.
Winner: Aldrech Ramos
His selection at the No. 5 was the first surprise of the draft, and his trade to B-MEG (now San Mig Coffee) was just as surprising. Coach Tim Cone told us he was really high on the former Far Eastern University big man. At the very least, he found another tall, skinny guy who could be shopping buddies with Rafi Reavis.
Losers: Jerick Canada, Paul Zamar, JR Buensuceso, Elliot Tan
Ginebra picked four guards, and seeing as the team already has Mike Cortez, Jayjay Helterbrand, and Rob Labagala, it’s hard to see more than one of them being signed by the team — unless it goes ahead and opens a security agency.
So Canada, Zamar, Buensuceso, and Tan would probably be competing, and only one would survive. They’d be like tributes in the Ginebra version of the Hunger Games.
Winner: Simon Atkins fangirls
Even we couldn’t believe that Simon Atkins was a worldwide trending topic on Twitter after being selected; he might end up being the only PBA third round selection to trend on the social network. Except probably if Gerald Anderson entered his name into the draft.
And given that he was drafted by his college coach Franz Pumaren, Atkins has a pretty good shot of making the Air 21 roster.
Loser: Kimon and Chiukins diehards
In the days leading up to the draft, we had a lot of fun posting video tributes to the short-lived pairing of Atkins with popular actress Kim Chiu in our mock drafts. In Sunday’s live chat, Atkins addressed the issue directly:
DairycreaM: “simon hows kim?”
Atkins: “Di ko alam. Di na kami nagti-tweet.”
Who are your winners and losers? Tell us in the comments.